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Russell Nemetz Wheat Leaders Pleased to See Sec. 232 Tariffs Removed & Call on Congress to Approve USMCA
by Russell Nemetz, click here for bio

Program: Land & Livestock Report
Date: May 21, 2019

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The announcement Friday that Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and Canada will be removed is an important step toward approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade (USMCA), say farmer leaders of U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG).

"We thank the Administration for recognizing that these tariffs are hindering trade agendas that open overseas markets," said USW Chairman Chris Kolstad, a wheat farmer from Ledger, Mont. "We also encourage repealing all the remaining steel and aluminum tariffs and oppose new tariffs on autos under Section 232. New tariffs would encourage our trading partners to retaliate against U.S. farmers and agricultural exports and further weaken international trade rules."

The USMCA agreement includes important provisions for wheat farmers. USMCA retains tariff-free access to imported U.S. wheat for our long-time flour milling customers in Mexico, a crucial step toward rebuilding trust in U.S. wheat as a reliable supplier in this important, neighboring market. In addition, the USMCA makes important progress towards more open commerce for U.S. wheat farmers near the border with Canada. The updated USMCA agreement would enable U.S. varieties registered in Canada to be afforded reciprocal treatment. While there are remaining challenges, we applaud the Administration for negotiating this critical provision in the USMCA and taking a big step towards reciprocal trade along the U.S.-Canadian border.

"Leaders in Congress made it clear that the USMCA agreement would never be approved unless the tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum were removed," said NAWG President Ben Scholz, a wheat farmer from Lavon, Tex. "We want to remind members of Congress that the farmers in their states and districts expect support for this agreement. We are certain USMCA will bring jobs and economic prosperity to rural America and across the United States."

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